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Reach of deaf education grant felt by adult children of education alumna

(February 4, 2008) Maribeth Lartz, professor in the Department of Special Education at Illinois State received a federal grant to provide practicing teachers, speech pathologists, and audiologists with training to help deaf/hard of hearing children with cochlear implants to use spoken language in addition to or instead of sign language. This approach, termed auditory-oral education, is a highly specialized technique that is growing in demand as advancement in technology has increased the number of infants and children receiving cochlear implants.

Upon learning of the news of this grant in their mother’s (Joan Elizabeth Bottles, ’64) Summer 2007 edition of the Alumni News Magazine (pdf, page 6), Stephen Keith and Debra Sue Bottles of Boise, Idaho, both former laboratory school students who attended the auditory-oral program at Fairchild Hall in the 1960’s, wrote to tell us their story.

The Bottles’ write, “we read with delight that this grant will enable training and services to those benefiting from this program.” Stephen and Debra were born profoundly deaf and, as adults, chose to received a cochlear implant.

“Now after four years with our CI [cochlear implant], we continue to improve and are grateful for the education we received at ISU Fairchild Hall,” say the Bottles.